Spanning five years in age and three different schools, Jo’s Corner brings different people together to create one thing, music.
Jo’s Corner consists of North students Sarah Durbin (Senior) on vocals and guitar, Delaney Durbin (Freshman) on backup vocals and guitar, Ben Heppner (Senior) on drums, as well as Hinsdale Central student Colin Ratcliff on lead guitar. The band’s namesake comes from Josephine “Jo” Jurasas, an eighth-grader at Herrick, who plays bass for the group.
Playing under the Jo’s Corner name, the five musicians have been making music together for a year and a half, but each member got their musical start at different times in their lives. Sisters Sarah and Delaney Durbin started learning piano at the same time and expanded from there.
When they’re not rehearsing or writing new music, one can find the members of Jo’s Corner making music at North. Both Sarah and Delaney Durbin both sing in choir at North, while Heppner plays percussion in both the jazz band and drumline.
Although they describe their music as “alternative rock”, Jo’s Corner draws inspiration from many corners of the musical world.
“My biggest inspirations are probably the Foo Fighters, but I would also say my background in musical theater has a major influence too” Said Sarah Durbin, who is also involved with theater at North.
For most student bands, an opportunity to play in front of the entire student body would be the largest audience to hear their music, but that’s not the case for Jo’s Corner. After a successful performance at the North homecoming assembly, Jo’s Corner was given the opportunity to play during the annual Bonfield Express, an audience of about 6,000.
When they’re not playing for some of the largest crowds in Downers Grove, Jo’s Corner can often be found putting on smaller shows in various locations.
“Usually we play at a really awesome venue called ‘Evolution Music’ in Downtown Downers Grove, they’re really open to new artists and sounds from the area,” Said Delaney Durbin.
Currently, Jo’s Corner is working on their first studio album. Although they have not released any material to the public thus far, the band plans on putting their album on the major streaming sites, such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as distributing physical copies on CD.
Although band members will be going off in different directions in the coming years when Seniors Heppner and Sarah Durbin go off to college, the band plans to stick together nonetheless.
“After [the album], it’s going to be kind of fluid depending on where Ben and I end up. Hopefully, we’ll be playing during breaks” Said Sarah Durbin.
While two members of the band will be continuing their musical careers in college, the others remaining in the Downers Grove area will continue to keep the music going.
“I know that the rest of us that aren’t going to college are still interested in pursuing music, I know that for sure. All of us are going to continue playing in a band in the future and continue making music together,” Delaney Durbin said.